Chrysler has promised dealers attending a national convention in Las Vegas that it will unveil an all-new advertising campaign later this month.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, Chrysler vice president of global sales and marketing, Joe Eberhardt, said the new ad campaign should address a lot of the concerns dealers have had about the company’s marketing strategy.
The report noted that dealers were critical of the move by the Chrysler unit, which also markets Dodge and Jeep brands, to sign singer Celine Dion for $US14 million. They reportedly claimed she wouldn’t go down well with their customers, and were quickly proved correct – Chrysler has since backed off from using the pop diva’s image in commercials, but still use her songs.
Dow Jones said Chrysler also blundered in December with its sponsorship of the Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view Super Bowl halftime show involving scantily clad women – the company has since removed its name from sponsors of the event.
According to the report, communicating with the public is going to be crucial for Chrysler this year, as the company begins rolling out rear wheel drive with the 300C sedan. The company reportedly says current technology can overcome any problems associated with rear wheel drive, but ‘snow belt’ dealers [primarily those in the northern and eastern states] are sceptical. Eberhardt reportedly said one of the company’s main targets this year will be educating the public that rear drive is as good in snow as front drive.
“We’ll find out in my area,” Maine dealer Steve McCann told Dow Jones, adding: “We have a lot of people who travel to Florida in the winter, so maybe we can sell it to them.”
According to Dow Jones, Eberhardt said Chrysler won’t start doing so-called ‘comparative’ ads like those which have been comparing Ford trucks with their rival Dodge models. Dealers reportedly told Eberhardt they’d like to see the same thing from Chrysler but the company won’t oblige.
Dow Jones said several dealers said they think the Dodge Magnum [wagon] and the 300C [sedan] will be solid sellers.